Erectile Dysfunction | Diabetes
The average rate of incidence of Erectile Dysfunction (ED Treatment Learn More) in males is fairly high (corresponds to 26 cases per 1000 males), but are you aware that
– Approximately 35% to 75% males report some degree of erectile dysfunction in the setting of chronic uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
– It has been estimated that diabetic males experience erectile dysfunction approximately 12 – 15 years earlier than non-diabetic males
Erectile dysfunction (ED Prevention Learn More) is marked by an inability to achieve erection upon stimulation as a result of neurogenic disconnect in the setting of long standing diabetes. Pain and swelling are also observed commonly in case of any obstruction or urinary infection (UTI Remedies Learn More). Most males with uncontrolled diabetes report painful ejaculation and urination that further affects sexual drive (Low Sex Drive Learn More).
Patho-physiology of Erectile Dysfunction & Diabetes Mellitus:
Persistently high blood sugar levels affect the integrity of nerves, blood vessels and other connective tissue elements that are responsible for erection. The diabetes mediated neuropathy (nerve cell damage), angiopathy (damage to blood vessels) and muscle dysfunction interfere with normal stimulation and response to male hormones (Male Impotence Learn More).
In addition, the risk of multi-organ damage also increases many folds that contributes to ED.
Diabetic Risk Factors That may Worsen Erectile Dysfunction
– Physiological aging: Advancing age (ED & Age Learn More) is a recognized risk factor even in the absence of diabetes. Data indicates that the risk of ED in diabetics over the age of 50 years is 55% and in males over the age of 70 is 95%
– Duration of diabetes is the most significant factor that determine the extent and onset of erectile dysfunction in males.
– Blood sugar control (glycemic control): The onset and severity of erectile dysfunction is directly related to glycemic control.
– History of trauma or surgery (ED & Trauma Learn More) in the pelvic region: It is important to note that surgical/ traumatic incidents s in which the nerve/ blood supply to pelvic region has been compromised, the chances of absolute restoration of sexual potential is minimal.
Related Risk Factors for Diabetes & ED
– Chronic history of smoking (ED & Smoking Learn More)
– Hypertension or cardiac illness
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Excessive consumption of alcohol (ED & Excessive Alcohol Learn More)
Treatment Options for Diabetes & ED
Several treatment options are available for the management of ED; such as
Over the Counter PDE-5 inhibitors
Drugs like Cialis and Viagra (also known as Phosphodiesterase – 5 inhibitors) is the most frequently recommended option for the management of ED. However, if you have certain risk factors (such as hypertension, cardiac illness) or other systemic complications of diabetes, you should not start PDE-5 inhibitor therapy without consulting a healthcare professional.
Other options are
– Intracavernous injection therapy
– Vacuum constriction devices
– Intraurethral therapy
– Sex therapy: Changes in sexual positions and environment can also help a great deal
– Psychological counseling: It is normal to experience difficulty in getting or maintaining erection (especially when you are tired or anxious). If the cause of erectile dysfunction is more psychological, you can get benefited from psychological counseling.
The choice of therapy depends on personal preferences and co-existence of other health issues.
Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
– Maintain your blood sugar levels under adequate control with lifestyle modification and diet(ED & Healthy Diet Learn More) (with / without drugs)
– Review your medications (some drugs may interfere with hormones and neurotransmitters that are required for normal erection)
– Maintain normal physical activity
– Immediately report to a healthcare professional if you develop nerve dysfunction (in any part of the body)
JOHANNES, C. B., ARAUJO, A. B., FELDMAN, H. A., DERBY, C. A., KLEINMAN, K. P., & McKINLAY, J. O. H. N. (2000). Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40 to 69 years old: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. The Journal of urology, 163(2), 460-463.
When to Seek Medical Advice for ED?
IF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION LASTS LONGER THAN 2 MONTHS OR IS A RECURRING PROBLEM, SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR A PHYSICAL EXAM OR FOR A REFERRAL TO A DOCTOR WHO SPECIALIZES IN ERECTILE PROBLEMS. YOUR OWN DOCTOR OR A SPECIALIST CAN HELP TO DETERMINE THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OR CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND GUIDE YOU TOWARDS FINDING THE RIGHT TYPE OF TREATMENT.
Although you might view erectile dysfunction as a personal or embarrassing problem, it’s important to seek treatment, especially if a physical cause might be developing. In many cases, erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated. Also, see your doctor if the therapy or medication prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction isn’t working for you. Don’t try to combine medications or therapies on your own or deviate from prescribed doses and do not your symptoms as they could be one of Erectile Dysfunction Causes.